Rouhani says Iran to continue expanding its military might, missile work

A big flag of Iran waving in the wind in Tehran

A big flag of Iran waving in the wind in Tehran

In a February 8 speech to a gathering of Iranian Army Air Force officers, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran will not give up the "Death to America" chant as long as Washington continues its hostile policies toward Tehran.

"Now it's up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, and ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country", national security advisor John Bolton tweeted on the anniversary of the upheaval. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure.

"40 years of corruption".

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies, in which USA and Israeli flags were burned, came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships many blame on the country's clerical leaders. "The U.S. will support the will of the Iranian people, & stand behind them to ensure their voices are heard".

Tensions between Washington and Tehran are high after the USA withdrew from an global nuclear deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, and re-imposed sanctions that have hurt the Iranian economy.

Iranians march towards Azadi (Freedom) Square during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in the capital Tehran on February 11, 2019.

In a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) square, Rouhani said US efforts to separate Iran from other countries would fail.

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"I bow in admiration to Iran's resilient people who - despite hardships and grievances - today poured into streets by the millions to mark 40th anniv of their Islamic Revolution, which some in the USA wished would never come", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

Trump said he envisioned keeping USA troops in Iraq "because I want to be able to watch Iran" during an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News that aired February 3.

But he remained defiant on Monday as Iranians recalled the end of a monarch who catered to the rich. "With the assistance and the help of one another. we will be victorious in the face of America".

A senior commander in Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps threatened on Monday to destroy two of Israeli's largest cities if the country is attacked by the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the threat. "If this regime makes the awful mistake and tries to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed, but it will be the last Revolution Day that they will celebrate".

Today, Iran enjoys growing influence through proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, raising concerns in Sunni Saudi Arabia, which accuses its rival of trying to dominate the Middle East. Tehran denies that.

Dismissing calls that Iranian regional influence should be curbed, the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was quoted as saying on February 11 that "the enemy can not ask us to leave the region".

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